The Branding Process

The Branding Process

When I came on staff at Christ Church Kirkland, one of the first things I wanted to establish was a consistent brand. A brand is a name, sign, symbol, slogan or anything that is used to identify and distinguish a specific product, service, or business. When you think of Nike, the first thing that comes to your mind is “Just Do It” or a big swoosh image.

While a church may not have some slogan like Nike saying “Stop Sinning” on their church walls or a big cross emblazoned on all their offering plates and chairs, there is a need for a church to design and develop a brand image. For many years, my church has been known as “that place behind Fred Meyer” or our name is butchered in a variety of fashions. Creating a consistent brand has helped to establish recognition with locals and lay a foundation for recall when people here about churches in Kirkland.

Recently we had Heidi Baker and Georgian Banov at our church for a conference. Over 1,300 people showed up and packed out our sanctuary and overflow rooms. By creating a brand that reached from our printed materials to our web presence, people were gently inundated with who were are and what distinguishes us as a church.

So, how do you develop a brand then? It begins by knowing what your church’s mission and vision is. All design, social media, and printed materials should flow out of who you are and who you are trying to reach. A brand is consistent and that consistency is what establishes recognition in the minds of other people. If Nike had ten slogans and thirteen logos, then we may think they sell clothes, but we wouldn’t know the difference between them and Reebok or Adidas. It is their consistency that has established their dominance.

Christ Church Kirkland’s brand began with our design. Our Art Director is very meticulous when it comes to anything that carries the church’s name. If she does not design it personally, it must be approved by her and be consistent with her style if it is to be published. Yes, this can cause delays, but it saves time from having to do revisions and better yet it keeps a high level of professionalism. When you look at our website, our Facebook, our Twitter, or any printed materials, you will notice a pattern. Colors may change, copy may be different, but you don’t look at one wondering which church it was promoting.

I will continue to write more on the Branding Process and release my thoughts in a step-by-step process so as not to overwhelm you. Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions or would like me to address branding for a particular interest.

Here’s step one though: Consistency.

Look at what you are currently producing. Does your brand answer these questions?:

1. I know my church’s mission and vision
2. My design flows out of that vision
3. My church’s logo reflects that vision is a simple way
4. All social media sites direct the viewer to one place
5. The look and feel of the church website is geared towards our target demographic
6. My brand is ageless (not seasonal or thematically based)

More questions will follow, but that will be enough for now.

Branding & Design

3 responses to “The Branding Process”

  1. Hank says:

    once again, nice article 🙂
    I remember how I was struggling to come up with a name for my MUD game (explained what it is in your Beyond Social Networking blog entry, wont annoy you again :)).
    Took me a week of sleeples nights. After that, I realised that the name was bad and changed it.
    I know it is a different story with comming up with names for fiction works like games or novels, but eventhough I had full freedom in the name, I still decided to have one that describes or reflects the main idea of the game.

    Anyway, I did a google search on your church and saw a video on the front page with a logo. Is it the one you have been refering to here?


  2. Joe Kennedy says:

    A really nice, thorough article. Again. I find myself coming back to your blog over and over and always learning something new. I’ve heard that people prefer a website referall to advertisements by a clear margin. I don’t know how much you (if at all) you advertise, but I find myself referring friends and peers to your blog and site. Keep it up! Thanks

  3. smith says:

    Crazy article man ! really helped me lot cheers !

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